Among the many career paths available in my area of interests (Accounting & taxation), the most exciting option that I stumbled upon is in the profession of CPA (Certified Public Accountant). CPA is a professional course licensed by the state board of accountancy which entails its recipients to provide accounting services to the public. During the course of my research, I have found that the profession of CPA is highly versatile. I can specialize in a plethora of subjects as per my requirements/interests and can also choose a specific career path relating to the same if need be. The most striking feature of the profession for me was the sole attestation rights enjoyed by the CPA professionals relating to attestations and audit and providing opinions on financial statements of various entities. This itself presents a huge potential for the professional and also presents an esteemed value in terms of its exclusivity. I was thrilled to know that this profession allows me to be addressed as an “auditor” or “accountant” which is exclusive to this profession alone.
CPA’s are primarily responsible for performing audit and assurance services. CPA’s can perform financial audit wherein the auditor attests the reasonableness of disclosures, material misstatement, adherence to the applicable generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in financial statements, etc. Also, the CPA may also choose to be employed in an organization or corporation in various positions like financial analyst, finance manager, financial controller, chief financial officer (CFO), chief executive officer (CEO), etc. The CPA’s can also perform tax related services. CPA’s have authority to represent individuals in terms of tax matters before the IRS. In a nutshell, the CPA’s may work in a wide range of specializations/areas like Corporate finance , Corporate governance, Estate planning, Financial accounting, Governmental accounting, Financial analysis, Financial planning, Forensic accounting, etc.
A CPA needs to have expertise in many areas like corporate and management laws, direct and indirect tax laws, accounting, auditing, information technology, financial management, forensic audit, etc. An in-depth knowledge in various field are crucial to the overall professional and career development of the individual and hence the same requires vigorous efforts and commitment. My interest lean towards getting licensed as a CPA professional to practice the profession by providing various assurance services to corporate clients.
The decision to become a CPA comes with various responsibilities to live up to. I need to focus my energy on concentrating in-depth in the academic aspects of the profession from its grass root level to be thorough with my basics. Acquiring the basic concepts of Accounting, auditing and taxation are of the top most priority. The most evident aspect from my research is the need for a continuous professional education and development of the professional after qualifying to become a CPA. This has cemented my belief that a true professional never ceases to acquire knowledge in order to fine tune their skills and excellence. Such an attitude can only be possessed through a process of continued commitment and acquisition of knowledge and skills set right from the beginning. This in turn has an impact on my attitude towards gaining knowledge and I’m hereby committed to learn and understand concepts in better clarity for greater understanding. A CPA is also bound by a code of ethics which needs to be strictly adhered to by those practicing the profession. The professional judgment, skepticism and knowledge required for a CPA professional will be imparted through rigorous training and exposure to practical scenarios and the practical knowledge imparted will be unparalleled to any other mediums.
1. Wikipedia web